The End of the Road

UIC Pavilion (C.Smith)

We have come to the end of the road. What started on Memorial Day weekend at Bethel Woods will wind down this Labor Day weekend just outside of Denver, Colorado—and what a road it has been. Regardless of what may happen for New Year’s and beyond, this is time to appreciate and celebrate the tremendous music that Phish has cranked all summer long and all the unforgettable times that have gone along with IT.

Beginning with “Boogie On -> Waves -> Caspian > Crosseyed”on the opening night of Summer, Phish built upon the foundation of 2009 and 2010 and reinvented themselves this year. The band is back to creating original music, experimenting in new directions, and exploring sounds unique to this year alone. Armed with a diversity of jamming styles, razor sharp chops across the board and a willingness to explore again, Phish has made Summer 2011 a tour that will go down in history.  Colorado will cap a season—and possibly a year—of music that many doubted could or would ever happen again. And in this summer of timeless Phish, the band has dropped more than a few handfuls of golden jams and frozen moments. And to think this has all happened in 2011…

6.10.11 - Camden (G.Lucas)

What started as multi-legged 33-show monster has dwindled to a single three-pack. But the next three nights in Dick’s Stadium could be some of the shows we are talking about incessantly for months until we hear another note of live Phish. It isn’t like like band to go out with a whisper, and after a summer in which they have transformed as an improvisational unit, these three shows have serious potential. Three-nights stands have produced some of the highest highs of the modern era, and just this summer we have seen Phish absolutely incinerate Bethel Woods, Super Ball, and UIC Pavilion. And now, one more three-pack in the mountains of Colorado to stamp the summer complete.

6.4.11 - Cleveland (M.Stein)

Though life is truly lived in each unfolding moment, it is sometimes helpful to pause and appreciate the road traveled. And when gazing back over our shoulder at the past 30 shows of the season, what a truly astounding ride it has been it is, and something for which to be grateful for all eternity. From Bethel’s “Halley’s” to Clarkston’s “Disease” to Cincinnati’s “Tweezer” to Darien’s “2001” to Camden’s “Curtain With” to Atlanta’s storm-interrupted escapade to Charlotte’s “Ghost” to Portsmouth’s “Sand” to Super Ball’s Storage Jam and “Reba > Bowie” to the Gorge’s “Rock and Roll” to Tahoe’s “Light” to UIC’s “Undermind” and everything in between, 2011 has been nothing short of a revelation in the Phish universe and an amazing time to be a fan. And regardless of how long it is until the band’s next scheduled show, anyone who has followed along this summer can sit back and smile.

But no sitting yet. We have three more nights and many moments that will stay with us forever. See you at the stadium!

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838 Responses to “The End of the Road”

  1. Luther T. Justice Says:

    Thanks willowed! I’m on the mend and doing better.

  2. naked guy Says:

    the s show was a tribute to scottie n. long time green crewer and general keeper of the good vibe.

  3. kayatosh Says:

    morning yall. too little sleep.

    last night was a blast despite being asleep for suzy and scents.

    S show was cool. Called the S set after sparkle. (see pg. 15-16). S show is over the top phishiness. While I enjoyed the show, the S thang took away some of the element of surprise and by mid set II, it felt a little contrived. Still a momentous show w/ ample helpings of great playing. Sand>simple>steam went big and earns the $$$. heck, sand through 7 below worked very well.

    1st set was solid. sloth was particularly tight and the twin stones covers were set highlights along w/ mid 1st set sneakin>sparks — $$. liked Split better than stash. stash took a while to click.

    taylor c source cued up. life is good.

  4. naked guy Says:

    love that guy. you would have to, to let his wolfs in your ride .

  5. kayatosh Says:

    morning yall. too little sleep.

    last night was a blast despite being asleep for suzy and scents.

    S show was cool. Called the S set after sparkle. (see pg. 15-16). S show is over the top phishiness. While I enjoyed the show, the S thang took away some of the element of surprise and by mid set II, it felt a little contrived. Still a momentous show w/ ample helpings of great playing. Sand>simple>steam went big and earns the $$$. heck, sand through 7 below worked very well.

    1st set was solid. sloth was particularly tight and the twin stones covers were set highlights along w/ mid 1st set sneakin>sparks — $$. liked Split better than stash. stash took a while to click.

    taylor c source cued up. life is good.

  6. Mike in Austin Says:

    Enjoyed the show last night. Definitely unique.

  7. kenny powers Says:

    Quick layover in Milwaukee, then on to Denver. Midwesterners are good people, I wish I could be, like, and exchange employee for a season. Da badgerss.

  8. kenny powers Says:

    aan exchange employee.

    I quit

  9. [Not Tom] Says:

    No diSSenting on how Super Sick laST night’S Show was. If they hadn’t brought the heat the way they did, then maybe you could say it was a bit contrived, but they brought it. Trey did not cut a single jam short. Threes were at least three legitimate type II jams (Sally, simple, shakedown). There were times where I was so absolutely lost in the music, wondering exactly what I was seeing/hearing. The hose was turned on. Did everyone start looking for “S” songs? Yes, but we still got played by the best band in the world. There were many times last night that I was completely surprised, even though I had a good idea what letter the next song would start with. And remember, while it was happening, there still weren’t any guaranteeS.

    Such a perfect show.

  10. [Not Tom] Says:

    And no one could have predicted what happened. Except Trey. I can imagine the Shit-eating Smile he had on his face when making the SetliSt.

  11. st8 of mind Says:

    I wasn’t there live, but I watched the show, and thought it was pretty mediocre for what they are capable of right now. It was a high energy show, no doubt, but not my favorite.

  12. kayatosh Says:

    point taken, Not Tom. contrived is too strong a word. The playing was at the high level we’ve come to expect from this band. Highly enjoyable show.

    just spun SASS. $$ version.

  13. [Not Tom] Says:

    Word St8.

    That’s why nothing can ever replace being there. I forget that myself until I experience a show like last night’s.

    Everyone’s entitled to his opinion. But I think the type II jams weren’t “high energy.”. They were down right right #stupefied!

  14. gavinsdad Says:

    guess we’ll have to monitor this one knowing that it had the “scotty dedication” caveat, ergo “the S show” and i have to give points right outta the gate for the band being classy enough to do that, then i have to build my impressions (didn’t stream or hear a note) on top of that. but looks fun as hell regardless

    stoked to see your “redemption” mention last nite @NotTom…great to hear.

  15. gavinsdad Says:

    ^on top of that baseline.

  16. gavinsdad Says:

    @beantown, willowed and KP: GET SOME

  17. kenny powers Says:

    Kaya

    Jeez, after all this time I finally figured out your name. You’d think the avatar would have tipped me off.

    Stepping Razor, y’all.

  18. kenny powers Says:

    wwill do Gdad! wait, will Beantown be there too?

  19. [Not Tom] Says:

    I’ve walked out of many venues saying that “that was the best Phish show I’ve ever seen.”

    Well, last night I didn’t say that. I simply said, with a completely melted face, that it was a Perfect show. There’s not one thing that they could have done to improve on IT.

    And today/tonight we start all over again with a blank Slate. Stupendous!!

  20. kayatosh Says:

    part of the fun of last night is all the S songs they could have played but didn’t.

    something, spanish moon, secret smile, saw it again, sea and sand, she caught the katy, SOL, sleep, skin it back, spock’s brain, swept away, steep, sugar shack, sleeping monk, shaggy dog

  21. st8 of mind Says:

    @ Not Tom- Yea, there is nothing like being there. I think I experienced that last night. I have never tuned in to a webcast so this is my first opinion from that point of view. I thought the playing was tight, but i was just looking for a little more exploration. AFter UIC I, I know know what is possible. Perhaps my expectations are high. Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed it as well as many others. Hope you will be there tonight. I have a feeling it might be large.

  22. [Not Tom] Says:

    @ GDiddy – thanks! I was Dozin’ at the Knick last night. Trey #spellchecked me.

  23. kayatosh Says:

    giving this split another spin.

    KP: well done. Kaya (by Bob Marley) + (peter) tosh

    kaya’s one of those reggae albums i never tire of spinning. same with Right Time by the Mighty Diamonds. and several others I can’t think of right now.

  24. kenny powers Says:

    Another part of the fun is that they have such a rediculous amount of songs to choose from that they can actually pull off a letter show and still have a believeable 1st and 2nd set flow.

  25. kayatosh Says:

    NT; to put a finer point on it: when you know they’re going w/ S, the realm of possibilities for the next tune narrows considerably. I felt like I was in the S box at times. Still a significant and momentous show and classy tribute.

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